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Desperate Transcription Issues

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by 21, Oct 15, 2009.

  1. 21

    21 Well-Known Member

    Not a very sexy topic but I need some help with this before I throw something through the fucking wall.

    I have to transcribe a billion hours of interviews (with the same subject), and I have to do it myself because the content is confidential, and I want to listen to the interview as i go so I'm not using transcription software.

    I love the recorder (Sony digital whatever), I uploaded the recordings to the laptop, so I can listen and type.

    The recording plays back in Windows Media, which minimizes into the toolbar so I can listen and type AND hit pause or stop. HOWEVER: cannot find a simple way to rewind, and I have to know if there's a keyboard command for pause/stop/etc.

    If anyone has any experience with this kind of hell, I would be grateful to know if there's a better way.
  2. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    Download VLC. It works well and uses the arrow keys for FF and REW.
  3. Simon

    Simon Active Member

    F7 works for me but I have a mac.
  4. 21

    21 Well-Known Member

    Showoff. 8)

    VLC, okay, will try that....thanks!
  5. Mediator

    Mediator Member

    Have you tried Audacity? It's free and I think works with Mac or PC.
  6. 21

    21 Well-Known Member

    I have not tried Audacity, if VLC doesn't do the job I'll try it.

    Probably should have asked Stitch if I have ever done anything to offend him before I took his advice and innocently downloaded this program into my computer.
  7. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I had to do something similar for something I was working on. I mentioned to a college class that I had 20 hours of tape to transcribe and one of the students said, "I'll do it for $200."

    Best $200 I've ever spent. I can't even imagine how long it would have taken me. I had it back to me 10 days later.

    I helped the guy get an internship that led to his first job, but still, $200 for 20 hours was just insane. I'm guessing that would have taken me at least 60 hours to transcribe, and I'm a pretty quick typist.
  8. 21

    21 Well-Known Member

    I have done similar in the past, just paid someone to do it, well worth the money spent. In this case, there's a confidentiality issue so I'm sworn to do it on my own.

    And I'm actually a terrible typist, so I'm transcribing in basic gibberish and will have to go back and fix it all. At this pace, it's going to take 30,000 hours.
  9. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    I usually allow two minutes of transcribing time for every minute of tape. Seems to work for me.
    So last year I asked an intern to help with some transcribing. I figured it would take her 3-4 minutes per - not a chance. 20 minutes of interviews took about five hours to get back. With lots of questions in between. Easier to do it myself.

    I paid my daughter to do some transcribing for my book. She couldn't stop laughing. It was a coach who has a bunch of catchphrases and other sayings and we're always imitating them. So every time he used one, she'd lose it.
    "I'm not paying you to sit over there and laugh. I need my notes."

    Transcribing sucks.
    But I have always found it easier to just do it myself.
  10. I Should Coco

    I Should Coco Well-Known Member

    Hate, hate, hate transcribing -- or using recorders, period. I've been burned by bad/old technology too many times. But yeah, sometimes it's a necessary evil.

    If some of these programs and applications mentioned actually help do the job more quickly and accurately, they're a godsend.
  11. I started using the voice record feature on my iPhone a couple weeks ago when I forgot my tape recorder. Best mistake I ever made. The sound quality on the iPhone voice recorded is tremendous and I don't even have to use the microphone extension. Like 21's problem though, there's no easy FF or Rew buttons, but I'll sacrifice that for the sound quality, not hearing muffled voices when the wind blows and the convenience of not having to carry another device.

    Sorry to threadjack. Back to the original thread.
  12. Mediator

    Mediator Member

    I am waiting for the app that transcribes audio digitally. Sure, you'd have to go back and proof, clean up garble, but it will give us all back years of our lives.
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